What do you enter into the "year" tag?

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wtobiasjr

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I'm undecided about which date to put in the "year" tag in iTunes, and I was hoping to get some feedback as to everyone's thoughts.

Do you put the year the song was first released or the year of the CD from which it comes?

For example, there's a new four-disc Rhino box set featuring underground music of the '80s. Do you tag every track as 2004 or do you look up the release date of each track and enter that year?

It seems like it would be more helpful with regard to smart playlists to list the year the song was originally released, but recordings are often remastered for reissue so you might want to have a way to distinguish between versions. Also, in the case of "expanded and remastered" released, if you list the original release date, what date do you use for previously unreleased material from the era of the original recording?

Sorry if I'm being anal, but I'm just interested in hearing the pros, cons and creative ideas.
 

aquatika

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I know what you mean, for actual CD albums (even if it's a later re-master) I'll put in the date that the album was actually released to begin with.

For Greatest Hits, Best Of's or Compilations I just leave the year field blank.
 

iDec

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If its a Best Of or Compilation I tend to enter the year the CD came out into the year tag, and I put the year the track was out in the name of the track ie. Behind Space '99

I think this is the best way, and really the only way to do both.
 

wtobiasjr

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I'm getting to be somewhat anal about my tags, so I don't think I'd want to add any data to the song title tag that wasn't part of the song title.

I've never used the "comments" field before. Might this be a place to put an alternate year? Could I then use the year in the comments field to assemble smart playlists?
 
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I make it easy on myself, I look at the year on the CD itself and always use that no matter what. This solves the year problem when I do take the time to input that info.
 

wtobiasjr

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Using the year on the CD certainly gives you a clear and consistent methodology, but what if you want to hear only songs from 1977? Songs of the 1930s? Songs recorded during the year you were born?

I own a lot of box-set compilations and reissues, so based on your method, all my Tim Buckley, Ramones, Echo and the Bunnymen, Gram Parsons, Randy Newman, X, Velvet Underground, etc. would be in the 2002-2004 range.

From a librarian's perspective, I wholly endorse your approach. But from a music fan's perspective, I find it somewhat lacking.
 

Code Monkey

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Date of the original release of the CD here. I'm not interested in that Hendrix's Axis album got remastered in 2002 or whatever, I want to know when the music came out. However, when it comes to a compilation album, I settle for the original release of the compilation. With some artists and collections you could drive yourself insane trying to find out each song's original release date.
 
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What I do is put my songs into playlists based more on mood not year.
The year is unimportant to me in making a playlist or what I want to listen to at the moment.

I have my chillout downtempo songs, my quiet jazz, my smooth jazz, jazz jams, oldies, classical, ect. None of my lists were made via the year. The 70's are oldies, hence genre.

The whole point for my method is it works for me since year is not a problem nor a method I use to make my playlists. I like to listen to what I'm in the mood to listen to :).
 

aquatika

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I've never used the "comments" field before. Might this be a place to put an alternate year? Could I then use the year in the comments field to assemble smart playlists?
Yes, you can do that. There is also the Grouping field which could also be used for info/ smartplaylists etc.

iDec's suggestion makes sense if you want to see the original release year displayed on the iPod.
 

trainman

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Code Monkey said:
With some artists and collections you could drive yourself insane trying to find out each song's original release date.
I was already insane enough to want to have every single track listed with its original release year. Turns out I could get the years for most everything with a little searching, first at Allmusic and then some Googling for the songs they didn't have accurate info for. (Or the songs they didn't have any info for, I should say...they're not really Allmusic, it turns out.)

But, still, a pox on compilers of compilations that don't have good liner notes, including the original release dates for the tracks!
 
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